Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rats on the Roof

I hadn't realized how noisy my neighborhood was until yesterday, when I was ill and took to my bed for most of the day.

Here are the loudest things around my house:

1. My four hens, which kick up an outrageous ruckus every once so often that would make a band of screaming banshees sound tame.

2. Little Dog Teddy, my annoying canine next-door-neighbor. Yap yap yap yap yap yap yap YAP YAP YAP!

3. Crows. All day long, and so ubiquitous that I have almost stopped hearing them.

At night, things quiet down. Even Teddy eventually goes to sleep. But about a week ago...

Scritch scrabble scrabble scritch! It came from almost right over our heads. My husband and I stared up into the dark without saying anything. I know my husband was thinking about wires being gnawed until the sparks fly and the entire contents of our attic being chewed to shreds.

Being a children's librarian and (not to mention the happy owner of four healthy, sweet pet rats), I had happy images of industrious ratties, perhaps wearing bonnets or kerchiefs and aprons, fluffing up blankets, feeding their darling little ratlings, and going off to find bits of food and nesting material. Domestic bliss, in other words. Their scritchings sounded so safe and cozy!

Then again, I also thought of Otis and Sophie Dog from James Marshall's Rats on the Roof:

"Otis and Sophie Dog had just tucked themselves in for the night when the sound of little dancing feet and shrill muscial instruments reached their sleepy ears.

'Oh no!' cried Otis. 'We've got rats on the roof!'"

My husband, like Otis, is stressed out by the whole thing. But I don't mind those little critters up there in the roof. I'll take them over Little Dog Teddy any day.

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